I'm guessing David Poile slept in...

So the NHL Trading Deadline did indeed turn out to be a chaotic swap meet, just as everyone had hoped for, with 23 deals ranging from the banal to the blockbuster, including a Marian Hossa trade that has Pittsburgh pushing hard for a postseason run this spring. To many local fans' disappointment, the Nashville Predators pretty much stood pat on this manic day of flesh peddling, obtaining only Jan Hlavac, a former 2nd-round pick who hasn't had a productive NHL season since 2000-1 with the New York Rangers. Out of the 30 NHL teams, only Boston, Edmonton and Calgary abstained from making a deal.

UPDATE: It looks like the Preds also picked up Brandon Bochenksi from Anaheim for the ever-popular "future considerations."

Personally, I was disappointed to see the Philadelphia Flyers land Vinny Prospal for a defense prospect and a conditional 2009 pick (2nd or 3rd round). I thought that Prospal would make an excellent addition to the Predators' lineup, although obviously Nashville GM David Poile didn't want to part with any of his young talent for someone who's headed for unrestricted free agency this summer. It's important to remember, however, that there are going to be plenty of losers out of today's deals, and Poile certainly didn't jeopardize the 3-5 year plan he's been discussing that involves signing his core young players and building through the draft.

Even without landing a star player themselves, Nashville may end up a winner today because we've seen St. Louis, Chicago and Columbus turn into sellers, trading away present value on their teams for lesser players and draft picks. St. Louis sent defenseman Bryce Salvador to New Jersey for Cam Janssen, a classic knuckle-dragger with 95 career NHL games played, 1 goal, and 205 penalty minutes. Even more amazing, he has a grand total of 19 shots; in other words, he averages a shot on goal once every five games. They also shipped Christian Backman to the Rangers for a 4th-round pick. Columbus sent Sergei Fedorov to Washington (great pickup for the Caps), and Chicago dumped Tuomo Ruutu and Martin Lapointe.

Since the Predators play these teams 6 times in the last 7 games of the season, that might prove an easier road than their playoff rivals from the Northwest Division, who are all gearing up for battle and play other quite often down the stretch. Tomorrow night the Predators play at Buffalo, which just traded away dynamic defenseman Brian Campbell for Steve Bernier and a 1st round 2008 pick.

By the way, Preds fans, be sure to head over the New York Times website, where their hockey blog, Slap Shot, is featuring bloggers from each NHL team (including yours truly) chiming on in a series of questions, including "What player would you most like to see checked right through the Zamboni doors?". Based on my quick assessment of the answers, it looks like Jordin Tootoo's running 2nd to Sean Avery on that one!


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